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Snake Tape Vine Stephania Japonica Seeds
Packet of 25+ seeds from this Australian native vine.
The natural distribution in Australia is from WA, NT and in most parts of QLD.
Overseas it is found in India, Nepal, New Guinea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and most of SE Asia for that matter, in everything from sandy coastal scrub, sparse dry rocky bushland, and moist humid fertile rainforest.
Very hardy and adaptable fellow indeed!
The birds love it, and where I originally found it the rainbow fish were sitting underneath the branch waiting for the ripe red berries to fall in the water.
It got a bit of a bad wrap years ago, as it was said to be poisonous to cattle(like a lot of other native plants since found innocent), but when they actually did the studies, (using amounts much higher than would ever be encountered naturally) the studies did not back it up, finding no measurable negative long term effects, and that was even when feeding huge quantities.
It does, however, have a remarkable potential as a pain relief medicine and as a potent anti-inflammatory, but that said, I do not know anyone who has personally used it in anyway. If you have first hand experience or traditional knowledge of use I would love to hear about it. As always happy to keep it unpublished if you prefer. Contact me.
I do not have any intentions of ingesting this plant in any way and I do not recommend of encourage you guys to do so either. If your plan is ingestion, in any way, do not buy it from me. I do not need the drama if you bloody die!!!
Anyway, if you search Google scholar for Stephania Japonica there are the results of all sorts of animal tests they have done on the plants and here is an example>
The results of the test showed that the 500 mg/kg ethanolic extract leaves of S.Japonica leaves exhibit highly significant (P < 0.001) inhibition of writhing reflex by 41.47% while the standard drug diclofenac sodium(“Voltarin” name brand) inhibition as found to be 45.02% at a dose of 25 mg/kg body weight.
In other words they gave some mice pain killers, they gave some mice a crude extract from this plant, and they gave some mice nothing.
They then caused the mice huge amounts of pain and measure how long it took for them to stop thrashing around and kicking their poor little legs.
The Stephania japonica extract was nearly as effective as standard pain meds. To make the extract all they did was soak the material in ethanol, then filter it, and evaporate it. The gummy resinous stuff left behind was fed mixed with water to the mice.
In many countries it has a long and varied history of use, often to relieve pain(due to the naturally occurring chemical “Hasubanonine”, which is structurally similar to Morphinan). Extensive study has isolated the alkaloid hasubanonine, which was tested against opiate-withdrawal with positive results.
Not only that, in Japan and Taiwan the berries were used as a drink to treat malaria and in Indonesia the roots are used to provide relief in stomach aches.
The whole plant was used elsewhere to cure itches, and in Ayurveda, it is one of the three plants used as sources of “Patha,” which is used in the treatment of urinary and heart related disorders.
In India it has also been used for skin sores, ulcers, furuncles, snake bites, stomach pain, leg edema, fever, diarrhea and dyspepsia.
I do not know the dose rate or methods for use of this plant(but would love to have the information) and do not recommend ingestion in any way.
I say again, don’t bloody eat it!
The reason I grow it is it looks really cool, and I hadn’t even heard of it before, despite its huge potential as a medicine.
It is a local native to my area(lots of places used to have it) and I believe it needs protecting. It looks beautiful, despite my average pictures and the birds love it.
Perfect to grow along a fence, or up a small tree or shrub, and its non-aggressive nature means it won’t take over the way some imported species can.
Lots of different names, in lots of places, here are a few.
Stephania corymbosa, Stephania hernandifolia, Menispermum japonicum, Cocculus japonicus, Menispermum japonicum, Cissampelos hemandifolia, Cissampelos psilophylla, Tubuki lota, Akanadi, Kanadi, Chhotopard, Khaarkha, patakkilannu, Thangga-uri angouba, Batule paat, Rajapatha, Moonseed, Malabuta, Qian jin teng, snake vine, Lektan, Malabuta, Maratugi, Thousand gold metal, Akanadi, Nimuka, Maknadi, Areuy geureung, Kepleng, Ginato bobudo, Kon pit, Pang pon, Tap tao, Thin kim dang, day loxi tieen, and moon seed.
It germinated fine for me after about a month or two, and now I have a heap planted out in the places I have pulled corky passionfruit out. Had a heap planted out near the creek, but that last lot of flooding wiped them out. Went back the other day and most of them have started to reshoot from the roots which is handy!
I just used my standard potting soil mix, planted close to the surface, and watered every few days.
That’s about all I can tell you really, but if you have a look around there are a lot of studies out there about this fella, and it is starting to be promoted more as an ornamental by LandCare organisations and revegetation groups.
Rightly so too, it’s a real beauty!
Grown by me and the Mrs (hopefully it may be wild harvested from our property too in the future), no chems no nasties, no problems!!!